Bank of the West ups bounty for serial robber
Nevada Appeal News Service
KINGS BEACH – A $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a serial bank robber, dubbed the “Fedora Bandit,” who has hit five Bank of the West branches, the last one Monday in Carson City.
“Our hope is that the announcement will lead to someone who knows the identity of the robber to call law enforcement to provide a tip leading to his arrest,” said FBI Special Agent Steve Dupre. The FBI has taken over as lead investigator in the cases.
The suspect is described as a white male 40 to 50 years old, with short gray or salt-and-pepper hair. He stands about 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall, with a slim build. In each of the robberies, surveillance cameras have captured the man wearing a fedora and what appears to be a fake beard and mustache.
He has been linked to December and March robberies of the same Bank of the West branch in Grass Valley, Calif., and robberies Feb. 18 in South Lake Tahoe and March 8 in Kings Beach.
The man struck for the fifth time Monday when he entered the Carson City Bank of the West about 4 p.m. According to police he flashed a gun at the clerk, grabbed a customer and held him at arm’s length, then made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Witnesses said the robber fled out the bank’s south doors, ran west through a senior care center and exited onto Mountain Street. He was last seen running south on Mountain Street, according to police.
Fritsch Elementary School’s latchkey program locked down the building for a short time.
John Stafford, Bank of the West’s corporate communications spokesman, said Tuesday the bank is working with the FBI and is seriously investigating the matter.
In the four California robberies, witnesses said the bandit displayed a handgun and carried a black, eco-friendly bag commonly found at many supermarkets, according to the FBI. The bag has straps and unidentified green writing on it.
Witnesses also said the suspect in each of the cases approached the teller counter and made verbal demands for money.
Those with information should contact the FBI in Sacramento at 916-481-9110 or Carson City Sheriff’s Office at 775-887-2007.
• Reporter F.T. Norton
contributed to this report.
Secret Witness turns 40 this year – and it’s helped solve many of Northern Nevada’s most violent crimes
Secret Witness tips have played a pivotal role in solving some of the most violent crimes the greater Northern Nevada region has seen. To date, Secret Witness has paid out more than $300,000 in rewards to anonymous tipsters. Rewards range from $50 (graffiti/tagging) to $1,500 (armed robbery) to $2,500 (murder).